Property permits— What you need to know

When you are looking to do work on your house or property some work requires a property permit. It is suggested you contact your construction (permit) department to find out what the requirements are. If you are looking to do an addition, you may be required to get the property surveyed.

If you are doing the addition yourself, the town may require a drawing and or architect plans. If you are looking to hire someone to do the work, you should get a few quotes. Make sure you get references and check if they have insurance and the specific license to do the work. If they are using sub-contractors, you need to make sure they have insurance and license also.

If the work is on the property make sure the utility companies are notified the saying is “call before you dig.” Doing renovation/construction work outside may change the coverage a lot. An example would be adding a patio, deck, pool or an extended the driveway. You need to check with the town if there are ordinance’s pertaining to exterior work.

In New Jersey, there have been some recent changes that some work does not require permits, such as installing a roof, siding, alarm systems (residential), etc.

It is suggested even though they do not require a permit, that you have the construction department come out and inspect the work. To make sure it was done in a workmanlike manner. FYI the construction department will only come out if a permit is filed.

When you decide on a contractor to do the work be careful not to pay them all the money up front. You should set up a draw system when some of the work is done they are paid for the work finish. It is essential that you and the contractor are on the same page with the type of material and color before it is delivered or installed.

If the contractor is using sub-contractors make sure they have been paid because if they are not paid by the contractor. You might be responsible for paying them. You should check that no mechanic liens have been placed on the property after the work is completed.